'Tennessean' employees accept severance packages

Friday, August 17, 2007 at 1:33am

Twenty-four employees of The Tennessean accepted “voluntary severance packages” Wednesday, Tennessean publisher Ellen Leifeld confirmed Thursday.

Eight newsroom staff members were offered the packages: former managing editor David Green, investigative reporter Melvin Claxton, Sam Parrish, Terry Quillen, Laurie Deaton, Tim Ghanni, Robert Sherborne and Larry Woody.

Leifeld said 66 staff members applied to receive the packages, which provide two weeks of pay for every year of service.

As to why the packages were offered, Leifeld said, “It’s clear that it’s a difficult time for the newspaper industry, and we’re no exception.”

Leifeld said the paper is not in the midst of a hiring freeze, as some positions are being filled.

“We’re making conscious decisions about the positions we are filling to make sure they are moving our business forward,” Leifeld said.

Newspapers across the country have made adjustments to staffing levels in recent months. St. Paul Pioneer-Press and The Herald-Tribune of Florida were among papers nationally to make buyout-related announcements in July.

Gannett publications The Indianapolis Star and The Honolulu Advertiser announced voluntary buyout plan offerings in June.

Leifeld said the voluntary severance packages offered locally are not buyouts. The policy was drafted by The Tennessean, and not by parent company, Gannett Company, Inc.

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By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 7:00

First wave...miss them? I won't. Too bad it wasn't Ellen, or a few higher-up liberal editors, especially the one who allowed the publication of Concealed Carry Permit holder's names, back in May. Still miss the Banner...

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Serr0d & I agree. I miss the BANNER, too. Its editorials were silly & reactionary, but its local reporting couldn't be beat. I keep waiting for THE CITY PAPER to emulate the BANNER's strong local news coverage. THE TENNESSEAN just gets worse & worse, and this move won't help. What a shame that Nashville can't have two really good newspapers.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

MJB, I'm shaking my head at your comment that you're waiting for the City Paper to provide strong local coverage. Huh? That's exactly what the City Paper does (and the Tennessean does not). I couldn't be happier with the City Paper's local coverage. What else do you want?

By: 37205Democrat on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Bottom line: it's sad when anyone loses their job. Especially when they're older and well-paid. But the Tennessean shot itself in the foot when they brought in an editor from "up North." A questionable move because they have some really good home-grown talent. IMO, NCP could cover a lot more local events and provide more listings like they used to. But they don't have the money or the manpower. Things are tough all over.

By: MAmom on 12/31/69 at 7:00

If the Tennessean reported more news and less 'feel-good fluff' and religious stories, maybe readership & sales would not be dropping.

By: dumpster on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Is this cost saving move a result of The Tennessean no longer including the TV schedule in single copy Sunday papers?

By: wgpugh on 12/31/69 at 7:00

The TV schedule was the only reason I purchased the Sunday Rag!

By: TristramPublius on 12/31/69 at 7:00

The Tennessean ceased publishing the weekly votes of Tennessee Congressmen and Senators, local Arbitron results and too many other items of true local interest. Can't have too many informed citizens, you know. We're not even referred to as citizens, it's alway "the consumer". My subscribtion ended years ago and I've not missed it at all. The City Paper is doing a good job for its resources.

By: serr8d on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I didn't know they quit carrying the Cable listings on Sundays. Really, then, what good would the Sunday paper be? What possible reason would they have had for stopping the TV listings? Doesn't matter, my DirectTV lineup didn't jive with their listings, anyways.Tennessean would be happy to list CCP holders names, but not the boob tube schedules. Hmmmph.